Employee EngagementRecognition & Rewards

The Baker’s Dozen: Employee Recognition

The Top 13 providers of employee recognition outsourcing.

by HROT Staff

The remarkable thing about employee recognition outsourcing is that with so many innovative programs in the marketplace, there is a cornucopia of offerings to select from. That’s great news for employers and employees, too, because a motivated and rewarded workforce leads to world-class performance. It’s one area in which HR has demonstrated that it can make an impact on business outcomes.

This year’s Baker’s Dozen listing again comprises the industry’s most widely recognized leaders in the employee recognition market. Their proven performance, along with a huge portfolio of satisfied clients, means this group is highly likely to have a program or can design a customized program to meet your recognition needs. From total recognition to service anniversaries to on-the-spot rewards, these programs are sure to keep your employees motivated and engaged under even the most trying circumstances and the tightest budgets.

Buyers of outsourced recognition services should also be aware of the full suite of services and tools available to them through one of these service providers. Not only will you get best-practices knowledge, but program visibility enables managers to track effectiveness, spend, point accumulation, and other useful information for managing their efforts. In an age when HR is trying to put data to good use, this type of information is invaluable, just as we hope this year’s Baker’s Dozen is invaluable to your recognition needs. Enjoy.

Methodology: This list was developed by contacting more than two dozen of the largest recognition providers and requesting the following information: number of employees rewarded under full-service programs in 2006 and a list of their largest competitors in this market. Because the data is supplied by the providers themselves and in some cases can’t be independently verified, a ranking would be an unfair comparison. Instead, the 13 providers are listed in alphabetical order with a description of services they offer. The Buyer’s Choice Designation is awarded to vendors whose clients provided testimonial.
* Data provided by the vendor.

Anderson Performance Improvement Company

Anderson Performance Improvement is a full-service performance improvement company. Anderson Performance Improvement provides strategic incentive and recognition solutions and consults on the design and delivery of strategic recognition programs that positively affect clients’ bottom lines.

Anderson served clients in the areas of insurance, banking, manufacturing, utilities, and professional employee organization.

Services Offered:
Strategy, design, communications, training, implementation, award fulfillment (including merchandise, individual travel, group travel and gift certificates), tracking and measurement.

Most Important Metrics: Return on investment, real customer growth, employee retention, and customer retention and growth.

Bennett Brothers, Inc (Choose-Your-Gift Division)
1,250,000 plus

With 100 years of service, Bennett Brothers provides product and full-service program administration for employee recognition awards, prizes, holiday gifts, and productivity incentives. Its popular incentive solution, Choose-Your-Gift gift program, lets employers reward associates with brand-name merchandise, including electronics, appliances, cameras, watches, jewelry, sporting goods, and more.
Client(s): AFLAC, DeVry, Churchill Downs, Bally’s Atlantic City, Hooters, BP, New Balance, Metropolitan Life, Intelsat, Caesar’s Entertainment

Services Offered: Choose-Your-Gift is compatible with many budget with its 14 prize levels. Bennett tailors incentive programs to each company’s individual goals and performance tracking.

Most Important Metrics: Motivation metrics help customers align employees to corporate goals, putting employees at the core of the business strategy. Clients define goals and create a rewards points structure, review employees, and give employees rewards points for their work that are redeemable at a company-branded rewards web site.


Globoforce custom builds client-specific, worldwide, on-demand incentive, reward, and recognition programs for Global 2000 companies. With the ability to be easily translated into multiple languages and worldwide currencies, the company’s on-demand recognition solution features a single platform for managing and implementing employee recognition and incentive programs.

Client(s): Avnet, Dow Chemical, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Procter & Gamble, Reuters, SAP, Safeway

Services Offered:
Globoforce offers millions of local reward options in every country where its clients operate. The technology behind this web-based incentive tool features global workflow capabilities, Super-User reporting dashboards, a full suite of online budget management, reporting and order tracking, single-user sign-on, and data flow and integration between payroll systems such as Peoplesoft and SAP.

Most Important Metrics: Levels of employee engagement and employee satisfaction, levels of participation across the entire organization, frequency of rewarding, user feedback surveys, improvements in productivity, and ROI.


Since 1997, IncentOne has provided integrated incentive solutions to clients from small businesses to the Fortune 500, including half of the Fortune 50. Types of programs supported include health, wellness, productivity, total rewards, employee recognition, on-the-spot performance, peer-to-peer, service anniversaries, safety initiatives, process improvement, employee suggestions, training, and more.

ADP, American Standard, AutoDesk, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans (several), Capital One, General Motors, Motorola, Safeway, United States Postal Service, WaMu, and WebMD.

Services Offered: Program review and guidance on optimal design/execution; online technology platform for program administration, management, and redemption; points-based platform able to integrate data from multiple sources; complete client-branded program; customized awards; extensive reward catalog with gift cards, merchandise, travel packages, personal services, and monetary options (payroll, HSA/HRA contributions and medical premium discounts); real-time tracking and reporting for Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, tax laws, etc.; budget management; and in-house fulfillment, customer service, and call center operations.

Most Important Metrics: ROI, sales revenues, participation rates, acquisition and retention rates, cost reduction, productivity, reduced absenteeism and turnover, survey results, and budget analysis/audit.

Maritz Inc.
Approximately one million

Maritz is among the world’s largest sources of integrated performance improvement, incentive travel, and market research services. It has been practicing the science and art of people and potential for more than 100 years.
Client(s): Confidential

Services Offered: Complete recognition and incentive program design and operations, reward sourcing and fulfillment, merchandise and award cards, group and individual travel, consulting and assessment, employee and marketing research, rules modeling and performance analysis, learning solutions, strategic communications, and project management.

Most Important Metrics: Achievement of our clients’ measures of success, agreed upon at onset of each initiative.

Michael C. Fina
Approximately one million

This year marks Michael C. Fina’s 72nd anniversary in providing corporations gifts and awards through its innovative employee recognition programs. As a family-owned and -operated business since 1935, Michael C. Fina offers sophisticated tools through its One Source Total Recognition program. Today, Michael C. Fina delivers cost-effective, state-of-the-art recognition solutions to multinational corporations, with a strict focus on world-class customer service.

Client(s): UPS, IBM, Bank of America

Services Offered: One Source Total Recognition (lifestyles inspiration, total vision recognition, FANS); recognition programs (years of service, peer-to-peer nominations, safe driving, injury prevention, new baby gifts, employee referrals and suggestions, and holiday and business gifts).

Most Important Metrics: On-time delivery, accuracy, and quality.

O.C. Tanner Company
2.5 million

For 80 years, O.C. Tanner has been an innovative force helping organizations around the world achieve the business benefits of strategic, high-impact recognition. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, O.C. Tanner serves companies worldwide and has offices throughout North America. The company’s Canadian headquarters are located in Burlington, Canada. European headquarters are in London, and Japanese operations are centered in Tokyo.

Client(s): DHL, KPMG, Avis Budget Group, and many Fortune 100 companies

Services Offered: Full suite of recognition products for various occasions and strategies, including service anniversaries, retirement, performance, on-the-spot, events, and more. Full administration services and customer support; custom, on-demand communication pieces; professional services including consulting, measurement, training and speaking; large inventory of contemporary, brand-name awards; integration of symbolism into awards and presentation pieces; full international capabilities with facilities in Canada, Japan, and Europe.

Most Important Metrics: Manager relevance, employee engagement, and business results (e.g., retention, productivity, customer satisfaction, and others).

3.5 million

Perks provides incentive and motivation management solutions that enable organizations to maximize the value of the audiences vital to their success. Perks solutions are geared toward motivational sales incentives, corporate incentives and promotions, employee performance, and customer loyalty programs. Headquartered in Los Angeles and with offices in Austin, TX; Boston; Houston; Little Rock, AR; London; and New York, Perks.com serves its national and international clients across five continents.

lient(s): Dell Computers, Microsoft Corporation, BP, ABN AMRO

Services Offered: International online employee recognition solutions including safety, suggestions, peer-to-peer nominations, service awards, and performance. Other services include sales incentive solutions for dealers and internal sales organizations, online training and survey solutions, and customer loyalty (commercial and consumer) solutions including promotions.

Most Important Metrics:
Continual opt-in measurements initially for registration, then subsequent campaigns.

Rideau Recognition Solution, Inc.
Approximately 2,500,000

Rideau Recognition Solutions are designed to support corporate objectives, motivate and inspire employees, and create long lasting ripples of reward in your business. Because it’s powered by Rideau, you know that you’re getting the best in rewards and recognition programs that range from standard self-managed solutions to fully customized platforms, all of which can be seamlessly integrated with your HR database for automation.

Client(s): Boeing, H&R Block, Lucent Technologies, RBC Financial, Bell Canada, FedEx, Molson, Alcan, Bank of Montreal

Services Offered: Rideau Recognition Solutions consists of a variety of distinct modules, including service anniversary advisor, birthday advisor, service anniversary milestone, performance awards, training and consulting services, corporate merchandise, customer loyalty, wellness programs, and cash awards management.

Most Important Metrics:
Employee turnover and employee engagement.

Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.

Rymax is a company’s direct connection to the top manufacturers of aspirational and motivational merchandise. As one of the largest national factory representatives in the incentive industry, it provides its clients with the newest luxury items, factory direct pricing, the best value for the money, the latest incentive solutions, and complete program management

In 2006, Rymax worked with companies in the following industries: airline, automotive, credit card providers, consumer products, financial services, food and beverage, gaming, government, hospitality, insurance, pharmaceutical, software, technology, and transportation.

Services Offered: Customized web platform solution, comprehensive reporting capabilities, brand name merchandise, tailored product mix, customized kits and packages, bi-coastal distribution centers, performance tracking, custom reporting, surveying and customer feedback, complete events coordination, reward banquets, shopping sprees, guided program launch, open communications channels, product training.

Most Important Metrics: Sales lift, employees retained/added, overall ROI

Springbok Services
Springbok Services provides end-to-end, branded, prepaid card solutions to organizations. From program design to card fulfillment, from how the card works to servicing the cardholder, each service profoundly influences the experience of the card recipient and ultimately whether the program achieves its objectives. By offering complete vertical integration of services, Springbok controls the quality of the product and service and is accountable for helping its clients meet their goals.

StayWell, Marketing Innovators, Kimberly-Clark, Pfizer, and The Home Depot

Services Offered: Customized, integrated prepaid MasterCard card solutions for employee incentives and rewards, health and wellness programs, sales performance incentives, and business expense programs.

Most Important Metrics: Employee productivity, sales performance, employee satisfaction, and participation by employees.

Terryberry Company

For more than 88 years, the Terryberry Company has been the custom employee award and service award provider for more than 25,000 customers worldwide. It specializes in the design and manufacture of nearly every type of employee award, service award, and safety award. Terryberry offers a variety of solution, whether it’s for a fitting recognition pin or any other type of employee reward to recognize achievements.

Client(s): Serving clients worldwide from a cross-section of industries, ranging from family-owned businesses to members of the Fortune 500

Services Offered:
Service award programs, sales award programs, and performance-based incentive programs; Points-based programs; Recognition system design and implementation; Full-service administration tools including custom online award selection programs, online reporting and tracking tools, and client-branded award selection catalogs; Toll-free award selection; Recognition training; Custom award design; Presentation tools; and Recognition assessments and surveys.

Most Important Metrics: Improved retention, employee engagement, sales increases, safety improvement, productivity improvement, program administration, and workflow improvement.

The TharpeRobbins Company
Approximately one million
The Tharpe Company and The Robbins Company merged earlier this year to form The TharpeRobbins Company. Tharpe was one of the first companies to provide HR professionals with one-stop shopping for employee recognition services by bundling program design and administration with product fulfillment. Robbins created an advanced operating system for managing and administering corporate rewards programs to meet the complex needs of the world’s largest companies.

Client(s): Ford, General Motors, Daimler Chrysler, Coca-Cola, AFLAC, ADT/Tyco, Honeywell, Proctor & Gamble, First Data, Smurfit-Stone, Advance Auto Parts, Ahold, Aegon, LabCorp, ITT Industries, Vanguard, Kindred Healthcare, Fluor, Staples, and Tennessee Valley Authority.

Services Offered:
Service award programs, performance award programs, innovative and specialized technology solutions, custom jewelry manufacturing, in-house customization of awards with logo, full-service fulfillment and distribution, person-to-person customer service, training, creative design services, printing services, presentation packaging, competitive warranty.

Most Important Metrics: Participation rates, satisfaction surveys, and reductions in accidents, absenteeism, and employee turnover.

Tags: Engaged Workforce, HRO Today Global, Performance Management Rewards

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